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Progressives Restore the Right to Vote for Thousands of Minnesotans.

Progressives Restore the Right to Vote for Thousands of Minnesotans

Yesterday, the Minnesota Senate voted to restore voting rights for over 50,000 Minnesotans across the state.

Once signed by Governor Walz, the Restore the Vote Act will return the right to vote for people convicted of a felony as soon as their incarceration ends. 

Minnesota is one of 16 states where any probation, parole, or supervised release must be completed before a person’s voting right is restored. Because Minnesota is a low-incarceration, high-probation state, former inmates can remain in the carceral-justice system for years or even decades before they can re-enter the voting system. 

Before the vote on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic advocated for the bill and building a robust and just democracy in Minnesota:

“The Senate is ready to act to restore voting rights to over 50,000 Minnesotans across the state who have already completed their time in prison and are now actively engaged in society. Our Restore the Vote legislation gives those currently left out of the democratic process access to the voting booth.”

Under this new law, Minnesotans who have already completed their prison sentence will have their fundamental right to vote, and participate in society and democracy, restored. 

The bill passed the Minnesota House in early February. Now that the Senate has passed the Restore the Vote Act, the bill is on the way to Governor Walz’s desk to be signed into law.

Much more to come for Minnesota voters 

In addition to securing the right to vote for those affected by the carceral system, Minnesota progressives ​​are championing a slate of legislation to expand access to the polls. 

These efforts at the Capitol include bills to create voter pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, automatic voter registration, and measures to protect poll workers. 

We can’t wait to see how Governor Walz and the progressive leadership at the Capitol will continue to work together to invest in our communities and strengthen our democracy. 

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